Saturday, October 23, 2010

Best Fall Veggies - Redbor Kale

Just took a quick picture of Redbor Kale in a Calgary Garden today. It is already late October and we still have fabulous colour and taste in the garden.
Also dug some carrots and beets but the kale is prettier!

Other tasks for this gorgeous October day include covering Joan's roses, turning compost and planting the last of the garlic. Isn't this grand?This time last year we were buried in snow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Feed the Bees and the Eyes

Professor Kippenburg Aster was in bloom for Thanksgiving this year - and that is not a common thing. I plant it right up front just in case it has the time and the inclination but often it freezes hard and solid with its tight buds shut out from the glamor and bloom. We do have a short growing season so I usually surround it with other show stoppers that gradually fade as the season moves on. I want late colour - and love asters - but I don't want an empty dead zone up front. If the season ends too soon this can happen.

I take a lot of pictures just to record what happens throughout the seasons and this helps me notice the little things. This year I noticed what look like honeybees on my asters! (Apologies to Ken Fry, Olds College if I got this wrong). I also saw a ladybug at the top of a bag of leaves I had just rescued from the alley. I guess I rescued the leaves and the lady beetle because she crawled out and flew away as I opened the bag.

So this little blog entry is designed to let reader's know there is still some active wildlife out there. Insects we really need to help us in the garden and in our world. Be careful not to do anything that will harm these little guys. As the temperature gets cooler many insects will be going deep into the leaf nest (13 bags collected so far - spread out in my tiny back yard). So think of my fall yard as a cozy bed and breakfast. Blooms of asters to provide high energy pollen and leaves to rest in. What a place to come home to.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Leaves - Leaves - Leaves- All you really need

They have more nutrients than manure and are cheaper than any other source of organic matter. Shouldn't we all be collecting leaves right about now? Listen in to CBC radio 1010 October 8th live at 12:35 for all you need to know about leaves.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Picking Golden Chantrelles

I did read in the Globe that the best Golden Chantrelles come from Northern Saskatchewan but last weekend we picked some mighty fine ones on Vancouver Island. Farewell to the Island now but the mushrooms are coming with us - we dried them for easy transport. What a lovely way to spend time with friends and get something yummy for the pantry.

The best habitat for these mushrooms is where the second cut fir is tall and casting shade. The chantrelles we found were near the first cut forest stumps. The trees are gone now but still giving.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall rye- what a way to build soils

Just admiring my fall rye right before I dug it under today. Roots were as long as the topgrowth at this early stage. I immediately seeded again a mix of rye and field peas and vetch. Yes it might be too late but - then again seed is cheap and if it grows I get some fabulous organic matter for my soil

Friday, October 1, 2010

Winning Gardener Is an Artist!

Yvonne Scott had her many Calgary Horticulture Society trophies on the dining room table when I dropped by this summer. What she has done in her yard is beautiful but that is not all she does. She is also an artist and is very good at painting and making interesting garden sculptures. Of course I wanted to encourage her and post a blog about her Art Show and Sale coming up on October 16 and 17th, 2010.

If you need more info you can call her in advance at 403-281-3525 or just drop by to the show and sale at 35 Bay View Drive, SW Calgary.